Longest Reigning Cruiserweight Champion Johnny Nelson Visits Merthyr Tydfil

On Friday 15th November 2019, former W.B.O. cruiserweight world champion, Johnny Nelson gave a talk and Q & A to delighted boxing fans in Merthyr Tydfil, a town renowned for its boxing heritage and producing great boxers such as Johnny Owen and Howard Winstone.

The event, presented by Kerry Morgan and Sean Jones at Merthyr Town Football Stadium, featured Johnny, who during his career set a record as the longest reigning cruiserweight world champion in history (a record now tied with German champion Marco Huck) answering  a selection of questions from fans. These included what was his biggest purse, back when he was boxing a mere £250, 000 answered Johnny,” many boxers today at world champion level get paid far more than this.”  Asked who hit him the hardest? Brazilian heavyweight Adílson Rodrigues and who broke Johnny’s rib in the 2nd round and Johnny had to go a further 10 with this agonising rib and breathing difficulties.


Johnny Nelson at Merthyr Town Football Stadium on November 15, 2019. Photos by Liam HarteryJohnny Nelson at Merthyr Town Football Stadium on November 15, 2019. Photos by Liam Hartery

Johnny Nelson at Merthyr Town Football Stadium on November 15, 2019. Photos by Liam Hartery

Johnny talked about his extensive broadcasting work for Sky Sports and his varied experiences hosting ‘The Gloves Are Off’. In the space of a few hours Johnny not only touched upon these varied experiences, but also took the time to explain a great deal on how to develop confidence, maturity, how to overcome fear and anxiety and how he had surmounted these lessons for himself and as a result developed a mindset to win at anything in life.

His stories of a reluctant career rivalry with former heavyweight world champion Mike Tyson had the audience laughing raucously. Johnny’s warmth, humour and humility really came over to his audience. The advice he shared as a pundit, concerning how to improve the boxing profession and how some corruption needs to be recognised for the profession to gain the respect it deserves, was well received by the audience including former professional flyweight boxer Jason Thomas, who also resides in Merthyr Tydfil.

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